Over a hundred years after the Fremont County Sugar Company-later part of the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company-laid the cornerstone for a refinery in the city named for the industry, the abandoned building became the site for manufacturing once again-this time for the potato industry.
Agritech Corporation, formerly a used potato equipment dealer, took business to the next level in Sugar City, Idaho, by manufacturing potato equipment-most prominently, truck beds-under the Logan Farm Equipment name.
Used to New
In 1987, Bruce Nyborg, along with other investors, purchased a block of buildings located along the old Yellowstone highway south of nearby Rexburg. They began selling irrigation and potato equipment to local growers and ranchers, becoming dealers a short time later for Double L and Lockwood Equipment. In 1997, the machinery lines were sold to a local company and Bruce began specializing in used potato equipment. He saw the need for used potato equipment since new equipment was becoming more expensive.
"There was a niche I had seen in the market," Nyborg says. "Growers didn't have that outlet for the used equipment."
He says that worked well for awhile-at least until used equipment inventory started depleting.
"Whether we did too good of a job selling the used equipment out there or the growers were hanging on to it longer, some of the equipment was starting to get so expensive at the auctions it wasn't worth our time and effort to buy certain items, recondition them and resell them," he says. "When they started going for the high dollars at the auctions is when we decided it was better for us to manufacture it ourselves."
The management team made the decision in 2007 to expand into manufacturing by purchasing the Logan Farm Equipment name, buying out their bulk bed line.
Nyborg says they went into it with an advantage-they already had their own truck bed design.
"We had been rebuilding everyone's used beds and knew all their strengths and weaknesses. So, we left out the weaknesses and put the strengths into our truck bed. We've added some very important features no one else has. It's been very well accepted in the marketplace."
In order to have the space to build bulk beds, they moved their company from Rexburg to the old Utah-Idaho Sugar Company refinery in Sugar City in 2007. Nyborg says that old sugar factory is quite a sturdy structure. It has a 6-inch concrete roof, steel pillars and brick walls that are five bricks deep. While they've had to make a lot of upgrades to make it work, work it does.
"It's a fortress," he says.
Agritech continued to build the original Logan design of bulk beds until this year, discontinuing the model because it was too expensive to manufacture.
Besides, customers haven't missed the old design.
"Most of the customers desire our newer bed," he says. "Our larger customers switched over to the new design from that old design, and the rest is history."
Now, Agritech is building close to 200 beds a year.
Agritech Corporation's main customer focus is North America, but they reach as far as Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Russia. They take customers' needs very seriously and strive to provide them with the best possible service. With 25 years of experience, a vast online used potato equipment inventory and a skilled team of equipment experts, Agritech takes the hassle out of searching for used potato equipment.
In addition to manufacturing truck beds, they've started manufacturing handling equipment. They have a complete line of conveyors, pilers, planter fillers, dirt eliminators, even flows, scoopers and many other specialty items, including sizers.
Their No. 1-selling item is the truck bed, followed by scoopers, conveyors, sizers, even flows and planter fillers.
They've recently developed a new roller, called a flex pro roller. Used in conjunction with a pintle belt, this dirt elimination system leaves tares in the field rather than hauling them to storage.
Used equipment still takes up 60 percent of their business, with the remaining in manufacturing. Nyborg says that making the transition from selling used equipment to manufacturing new was very natural.
"It has allowed us to grow in a way we needed to grow," he says. "It's allowed us to do things for our customers we couldn't do had we not made that investment in the company. It took a lot of dollars to get it going, but it's paying off-it's paying for itself."
Like all of the Logan handling equipment, Logan started building the Trac-Pro Scooper because of the demand for high-quality, high-capacity scoopers in the industry. The Logan scooper comes standard in 30- or 36-inch widths and has the longest telescoping capabilities in the industry, which allows for the growers to reach the edge of the pile even in the largest of cellars.
The telescoping conveyors are built using formed sides, which adds strength and allows for easy belt tracking. The electrical components and Panels are UL-listed and are top-of-the-line Cerus Industrial products. A soft start option is available for those who want a slow gradual movement of the scooper nose. The overhead electrical cable carrier keeps the electrical cable up off the ground and out of the way.
The scooper nose is designed to run with either belted chain or belt. The belted chain option includes chain drives with a slip clutch to ensure smooth operation. The conveyor drive pulleys are vulcanized, and the tail pulleys are crowned to help keep the belt on track. For the conveyor belts Logan always uses Legg belting, an American-made belt that is more durable and doesn't stretch over time like import belting. Ratchet jacks are used on the rear tires for easy height adjustment and connection with the piler.
Scooper trailers are available in single and tandem axles. Logan has designed their scooper after the growers' wants and needs. By doing so, it has become the most sought-after scooper in the industry.